NHL Rumor Mill – December 16, 2020

by | Dec 16, 2020 | Rumors | 37 comments

Check out the latest on Max Pacioretty, Zdeno Chara, and Travis Hamonic in today’s NHL rumor mill.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy cites three NHL management sources and two scouts claiming that if Vegas Golden Knights general manager Kelly McCrimmon isn’t shopping Max Pacioretty, he’s at least listening. Recent rumors claim the Golden Knights were looking into moving the 32-year-old winger’s $7 million annual average value, but team owner Bill Foley denied the reports.

Vegas Golden Knights winger Max Pacioretty isn’t worried about recent trade speculation (NHL Images).

One source told Murphy the Los Angeles Kings and Pittsburgh Penguins have circled back to Pacioretty. The New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, and Buffalo Sabres are also said to be interested.

THE SCORE: cites Pacioretty telling the Las Vegas Review-Journal he’s unconcerned about those trade rumors. “I played in Montreal for 10 years, so this is lightweight stuff,” he said. “I’ve heard a lot worse…This is nothing.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those clubs listed by Murphy could be doing due diligence by checking into Pacioretty’s availability. Nevertheless, I doubt he’ll land with any of them.

Given the Golden Knights’ desire to shed salary, they won’t want much in return and won’t want to absorb a significant chunk of Pacioretty’s cap hit. That rules out the Penguins, as Cap Friendly shows them with $1.3 million in cap space. They would get $1 million more by placing Zach Aston-Reese on long-term injury reserve but unless they’re getting creative by getting a third team involved I don’t see how they can pull it off.

The Devils have plenty of cap space but if they’re on Pacioretty’s 10-team no-trade list I don’t see him agreeing to leave a Stanley Cup contender to join a rebuilding team. The same goes for the Kings, who attempted to acquire Pacioretty two years ago but have since gone into rebuild mode.

Pacioretty isn’t a fit with the Rangers as they have Artemi Panarin, Chris Kreider and 2020 first-overall pick Alexis Lafreniere among their left wingers. The Sabres already made their big offseason move by signing Taylor Hall.

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Joe Haggerty wonders if it’s time for the Boston Bruins to move on from former captain Zdeno Chara. There are teams like the New York Rangers reportedly interested in the 43-year-old free-agent defenseman.

Haggerty points out the Bruins signed Jakub Zboril to a one-year contract and re-signed Kevan Miller to a one-year deal. He also noted their attempt to acquire Oliver Ekman-Larsson from the Arizona Coyotes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Chara’s agent said his client is waiting to see what the format for this season will look like before deciding where he’ll play. Some observers believe he’ll return with the Bruins for one more season but others aren’t so sure anymore. We won’t have to wait much longer to find out if the NHL and NHLPA reach an agreement on a Jan. 13 start to this season.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the Vancouver Canucks were interested in Travis Hamonic before they acquired Nate Schmidt in October. He believes they’re still interested in the free-agent defenseman but probably don’t have the cap flexibility they had before the Schmidt acquisition. They’ve also signaled an intent to bring more youth into the lineup.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly shows the Canucks above the $81.5 million cap by $1.5 million. They could get cap relief if winger Micheal Ferland ends up on LTIR over his lingering head-trauma symptoms but perhaps not enough to sign Hamonic, who could be targeted by the Winnipeg Jets.


  1. Lyle,

    An EARLY rumor mill to start my day—you must not be sleeping either!?

    I still believe the only options for Chara are as a Bruin or retire. His play in the Cup final against the Blues still ranks as a real “profile in courage”.

    • Hi Iowa Prince

      Fully concur… on the end result…Chara retires as a Bruin …. now or down the road; but technically he has other options… just don’t see him taking them

  2. The Canucks will garner another 1,075 mil in cap space when they send Baertschi down & CapFriendly shows only 6 Dman with Rathbone? On the NHL roster. Replace Rathbone with Juolevi and that frees up another 150K giving Vancouver about 3.75 to play with. If they choose to waive Ericsson than get another 1,075 as well.

    The issue for the Canucks is that every forward on their roster on CapFriendly, 15 of them have to clear waivers as do all of their Dman but Hughes & potentially Juolevi who Benning has said will be in the NHL this season. That’s 6 D.

    Adding Hamonic on a 1 year deal at or near 3 mil is doable if they so decide but it leaves very little wiggle room against the cap until other LTIR injuries occur.

    • Striker? Is this the original or a new copycat?

    • Hi Striker

      Again good to see you back 😄

      There is a little mathematical trap/fallacy/obstacle to the burying of the $1.08 M for any player making at least that…. that roster spot has to (well most likely will) be replaced…. with a player who is making League Min … so net move saves $308 K

      I agree Baerchi and Ericsson down might be a move; but that combined with the Juolevi ($0.86 M) in for Rathbone ($0.93M) ; and the fact that Canucks are already $1.5 M over…. would leave them with about $720 K in space …. and at 21 on roster…. not enough for Hamonic

      Loui has only $5M total still owed for two years (effectively only $2.5 M per)

      Loui at 50% retained plus sweetener effectively has receiving team paying him only $360 K (after escrow and deferral) to play this year ; and about $1.5 M (after escrow/deferral) for 21/22

      What is the sweetener ?

      That gets Canucks at 22 with $1.5 M in space; bury Baercchi; making it 21 with $2.6 Mish….. get Hamonic… and either go with 22 for season or play the Kyle Dubas game of sending down his ELCs between games to save Cap; and then go with 23 (23rd at league min)

    • striker–one of my favourites of all time–in 8 years

    • Hey Striker

    • The glorious return of our former Mr Know It All…. sadly youve been replaced by an actual NHL “Insider” …. meet Wendel


      • I am sure Striker is not a know-it-all Ron, it’s just relative to your point of comparison, so I see where you are coming from with the comment.

    • Striker, who is going to pay 3 million for Travis Hamonic? way too much money for a 5/6 dman

    • Couldn’t resist the pull to post. That’s ok striker. I know you read every day since your last post.

    • Please tell me you are the original Striker!

  3. Funny how Jim Rutherford is never interested in a top flight defenceman???

  4. I really think the hang up is Hamonic himself

    Pacioretty is not leaving and loathing Las Vegas. They have a championship caliber team and he is a part of that.

    Juolevi will stick this year or bye bye

    If Ericksson could be gone in anyway it would have done a long time ago

  5. I just try to think (non linear, it’s fun try it sometime) like Dubas would and conclude Vegas doesn’t need to do anything. They will just taxi squad whichever goalie isn’t starting. Only downfall is the back up dressed isnt as good but aside from injury if you are switching goalies your team is already behind the right ball.

    • You’re welcome for today’s creative solution 101. Next “problem”?

    • Wendel, I don’t think sending players down and then calling them back up is non linear thinking.
      It is simple addition and subtraction.
      You can google what it means.

      • Ray, the point is: everyone is saying Vegas needs to dump salary like trade Max P. Well they don’t and its so simple but I appear to be the only one who sees this , hence this morning’s lesson.

        As I am clearly correct, your response should be: oh yeah that makes perfect sense, thanks Wendel! Or just be quiet because you are embarrassed you couldn’t recognize something so obvious.

      • …and that is why is was a 101 Introduction to Non-linear Thinking. Until you are able to grasp the easy concepts without me explaining it I can’t move to providing more advanced lessons to the qualified.

      • Your right Wendel it is simple.
        That is my point.

      • Ray – ssshhh – don’t spoil his delusions – he thinks it’s rocket science

    • It is laughable at best to think the rules regarding the taxi squad will provide the Leafs and Vegas the opportunity to shed high dollar contracts for days without ramifications. I would anticipate sending players to the squad will involve putting them on waivers. Don’t see either Vegas goalie going unclaimed with Chicago’s current goaltending. That’s why Dubas was planning on ELC’s. But hey maybe you’re right, I mean you called Pietro to the Leafs so you’re obviously smarter than everyone else!!

  6. Boston writers spreading crazy Ranger rumors. Hmmmm. As Lyle mentioned, already crowded on LW, so no way they’re trading for Patches. Also due to bonus cushion, Rangers don’t have cap space either. Chara to NY? Hahahaha

    • @slick
      What writer does not know the riches the Rangers have @ LW?

      I would of taken Chara over JJ all day….but he has to be a B

      • ds. Pacioretty doesn’t make any sense cap wise either. I don’t even know where the Chara rumor came from. As far as JJ, as long as both him and Smith aren’t in lineup together, either aren’t really a step down from Staal. I really think K’Andre Miller will be playing.

  7. Patches on Pens …. WTF?

    In what mythical Cap world?

    Patches for Zuck ? For Vegas just to free up $1.5 M?? Not happening

    Again… move Martinez … and in the words of Russell Peters …. “taykiddanhdgoh”… Hague up…. leaving $2.2 M for 2 depth forwards…👏👏👏

    Pens move should start with #2 to WBS…. leaving them with just a tad over $2M in space ; roster at 22

    $2M… ??? …. Vats? Hamonic ? Haula?

    • @ Pengy…no wY pach is coming to the penguins and in no wY would I trade a speedy zucker for a slow footed pacioretty..

      Haula would be perfect for the Penguins but he is heading to Vegas..matter of time.

      Duclair anthansiou so.eone like that more likely. Top 6 set

      • Hi BnG

        Ya… I can’t see Patches coming to Pens; only mentioned Zuck as he is a winger with a number relatively high but not as high as Patches; and Zucker spent some years in his youth, living in LV.

        The odds are extremely extremely thin wrt going after Patches… and only way is for at least $5.5 M going out the door…. and there I was no way I was going to suggest Guntzel

        Ruhweedel to WBS … Pens have $2M…. Duclair mistakenly turned down $3.5 M; and of course now he’ll have to accept less… but would he take $2M … I doubt it… they will have a bit of ZAR Cap room to add; but not a huge amount

        McC Poulin Duclair would be an excellent (and speedy) 3rd line

        The other “out there” proposal I heard was Zucker to LA for Carter (50 % retained ) and a second; then sign Duclair

        That deal (if assured Duclair) I’d do for sure

        The net improvement to lines 2 and three from

        Gino Rusty Zuck
        McC Jankowski Rodriguez


        Gino Rusty Carter
        McC Poulin Duclair

        Would be worth it IMHO

    • Pengy……I live in los Angeles and Carter isnt near what he used to be even at 50%

      Zucker is younger, faster, better..he had a strong first season wht does everyone want to trade him..

      He will b really good

  8. Chara might be be a fit for another team but not the bruins. The name of the game nowadays more than ever before is speed, Chara never was fleet of foot the last few years it’s like watching him skate with cement in his skates. Either let him get into management or set him free. Time to make the plunge for OEL.

    • Did see that the Oilers players had a problem with Nurse at the end of the last season anyone know if that has been cleared up ? he would be a nice LD for the Bruins to get … DeBrusk/Moore and a prospect .. not enough ?

      • Where did you read that ? I’ve never heard anything to that effect , unless you count the old rumour about Leon and his sister , which I find highly unlikely and was years ago now . By all accounts I’ve seen , read , Leon mcdavid and nurse are pretty tight (watch warm ups or interactions between the 3 , seem pretty tight ) , nurse a voice for the collective group in many cases and growing as a leader and haven’t read of any issues within the room . Many in the media , fan base were hard on nurse (for good reason ) for his play in the play in round , which like klefbom , was not near good enough.
        Especially now with the doubt surrounding klefbom I don’t see nurse going anywhere , unless it’s an over the top offer , I like debrusk , quite a bit actually but if he’s the centrepiece , it’s a non starter in my opinion

      • The Edmonton Oilers find themselves on the outside looking in as they were handed an exit key from the Chicago Blackhawks. While the team proceeds to let the rest of the western conference enjoy their dressing room, one Oil wasn’t happy about the way his team played and let it be known.

        D-man, Darnell Nurse wasn’t shy with his comments and called out his team for a lack of intensity. Only one problem, you call out your team, you easily turn into the local villain.

      • Whoever that writer is , I strongly disagree . Leaders do and should voice there displeasure , if I heard or thought he absolved himself from the blame that would be different . They did need more intensity , more focus and attention to detail , Tippett saying it , and the leaders reinforcing that is a good thing in my opinion , don’t see nurse being a villain in the media or the room anytime soon , nor do I see him being moved .

    • @Rick…you are right he would be a nice fit for some other teams…Pittsburgh

      Would love his toughness, character, and defense on our third pairing..keep him to 15. 17 minutes a game..I’m in

    • 29 years old.
      7 more years at 8.25 million.
      Declining production.
      Not great offensively.
      This is the solution to Chara’s spoton the top pairing?
      Whynot move Gryz up with Charlie, and Chara down to 3rd pairing and PK duties.
      Saves a pile of money and we’re not handcuffed for 7 years on a regrettable contract, leaving no room to resign Charlie, Pasta, Carlo et all when that time comes.
      That’s this guys opinion at least.

  9. Anybody remember what Pacioretty’s relationship with Subban was like in Montreal? Could certainly influence NJ being on/off the no trade list.